California Constitution Article 1 Section 19 - Interpretation

California Constitution, article 1, section 19 provides just compensation must be paid to the owner of property taken for public use. (San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Bd. v. Handlery Hotel, Inc. (1999) 73 Cal.App.4th 517, 529 (Handlery).) This provision authorizes a public entity to institute eminent domain proceedings to acquire public property and a landowner to institute inverse condemnation proceedings for a claimed taking of property. (Ibid.) "Both types of actions are governed by the same principles. " (Ibid.) A right of compensation for inverse condemnation exists for unreasonable precondemnation conduct by a public entity that does not amount to an actual taking of property. (Handlery, supra, 73 Cal.App.4th at p. 529.) "'When the condemner acts unreasonably in issuing precondemnation statements, either by excessively delaying eminent domain action or by other oppressive conduct, our constitutional concern over property rights requires that the owner be compensated. This requirement applies even though the activities which give rise to such damages may be significantly less than those which would constitute a de facto taking of the property. . . .'' to demonstrate entitlement to damages for unreasonable precondemnation conduct, the court stated: 'A condemnee must be provided with an opportunity to demonstrate that: (1) the public authority acted improperly either by unreasonably delaying eminent domain action following an announcement of intent to condemn or by other unreasonable conduct prior to condemnation; and; (2) as a result of such action the property suffered a diminution in market value.'" (Id. at p. 530.) "Recovery under this theory requires some 'direct' and 'special' interference with the landowner's use of the property. '"In order to state a cause of action for inverse condemnation, there must be an invasion or appropriation of some valuable property right which the landowner possesses and the invasion or appropriation must directly and specially affect the landowner to his injury."' 'Absent a formal resolution of condemnation, the public entity's conduct must have "significantly invaded or appropriated the use or enjoyment of the property.' In other words, the affirmative conduct of the public entity must have significantly negatively affected the use or enjoyment of the property, lowering its value, physically burdening it, and/or decreasing the income it produced. . . . Whether there has been unreasonable conduct by the condemner and what constitutes a direct and substantial impairment of property rights for purposes of compensation constitute questions of fact." (Handlery, supra, 73 Cal.App.4th at pp. 530-531.) When property subject to an unexpired lease is acquired through eminent domain for public use, the lease terminates pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1265.110. (Peter Kiewit Sons' Co. v. Richmond Redevelopment Agency (1986) 178 Cal.App.3d 435.) "When condemnation terminates a tenancy, the lessee is ordinarily entitled to share in the condemnation award to compensate for the value of his or her leasehold interest." (Redevelopment Agency of San Diego v. Attisha (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 357.) When the real property is simply sold to the public agency subject to an unexpired lease term, the new owner becomes the landlord by operation of law and the lease continues in force for its full term. (Peter Kiewit, supra, at p. 441.) Code of Civil Procedure section 1265.110 does not apply to a negotiated purchase agreement, "unless the conduct of the acquiring public entity is the 'substantial equivalent' of condemnation and fairness requires applying section 1265.110 to the acquisition by purchase." (Peter Kiewit, supra, at p. 442.)